Thursday, November 14, 2019

recommended gigs

Thursday Nov 14 - TV Party Tonight at the Double Down showing the movie Airplane with appropriate live music by Water Landing

Friday Nov 15 - the Psyatics at the Double Down

Saturday Nov 16 - The Swamp Gospel at the Double Down

Friday Nov 22 - the Heiz with The Swamp Gospel and Fuckface at Evel Pie

Saturday Nov 23 - The Heiz at the Mint
Saturday Nov 23 - Shanda and the Howlers at the Golden Tiki
Saturday Nov 23 - Not a Robot, Negative Nancys, Gob Patrol, Blvd Bullies at the Double Down

Sunday Nov 24 - the Heiz at the Sand Dollar

Tuesday Nov 26 - The Psyatics and the Heiz at the Huntridge

Wednesday Nov 27 - the Heiz at the Rusty Spur
Wednesday Nov 27 - the Delta Bombers with Eddie Spaghetti, JD Pinkus, and Farangs at Backstage Bar and Billiards
Wednesday Nov 27 - Basstravaganza featuring Thee Swank Bastards at the Double Down Saloon

Friday Nov 29 - The Heiz at the Double Down
Friday Nov 29 - Thee Swank Bastards at Tiki di Amore

Saturday Nov 30 - The Heiz at the Double Down

Sunday Dec 2 - the Dickies with Jerk! at Evel Pie

Saturday Dec 7 - Agent Orange with The Psyatics , the Sheiks of Neptune and the Jagoffs at the Dive Bar

Saturday Dec 14 - The Swamp Gospel with the All Togethers at the Huntridge

Tuesday Dec 17 - the Double Whammys at the Golden Tiki

Saturday Dec 28 - Thee Hypnotiques at Tiki di Amore

Thursday Jan 2 - Tommy and the Commies, the Cavemen, Thee Saturday Knights and the Van der Rohe at the Bunkhouse

Friday Jan 3 - the New Waves at the Golden Tiki

Saturday Jan 18 - the Swamp Gospel and the Psyatics and the Holy Smokes at the Double Down

What have I forgotten? Lemme know

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The Double Whammys at the Golden Tiki - Tuesday Nov 13, 2019


Vegas' latest intro combo is a local supergroup, the Double Whammys, made up of various luminaries -about-town including Tony Felicetta on drums, Cromm Fallon on bass, Joe Lawless on keys, Russ Burt on sax and Cole Maxwell on guitar - I've already lost count of how many bands these cats are involved in between them all. With a mission to create "hip shakin' go-go instrumentals", their sound is a bit Booker T and the MGs, a spray of surf, a bump of Las Vegas Grind-styled tunes and whatever else they decide to throw in. Everything was covers, mostly fairly obscure (most likely coming from the likes of the LV Grind record series), with shout-alongs like "Big Feet" and a variation on "Thunderbird". Top notch playing all around - snappy drums, wailin' sax, sharp guitar licks, soulful organ and groovin' basslines that succeed in making ya wanna swing'n'sway through the dance floor.

Really fun stuff aimed at the Golden Tiki/Tiki di Amore scene and I'm sure that they will win over folks whenever they take the stage - they packed the GT on this Tuesday night and certainly made plenty of fans already. Keep an eye out for them!

(I wasn't gonna fight the crowds for better pix - sorry!)

 

 



Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Psyatics, Pitchfork, Flux at Tecopa Takeover, Tecopa Springs, CA, Saturday Nov 9, 2019


Tecopa Takeover is generally a relatively laid-back, hippie-esque weekend in Tecopa Springs, CA with lots of music'n'activities for adults'n'kids and even dogs! A cool scene in the middle of nowhere that, to my knowledge, has been a more acoustic/bluegrass/folk-oriented event that is expanding their musical explorations, hence the addition of the Psyatics to this years' line-up!

While the event goes on from Thursday through Sunday, we just came in for Saturday afternoon. Accompanying a large brunch buffet was the music of Pitchfork, a fantastic acoustic bluegrass combo with dobro player Richard of the Unwieldies and on bass was Tecopa event coordinator Dave - he and his wife Megan are the instigators of the weekend, as I understand (and their youngster was a highlight of the day and he entertained on stage as the bands played). An excellent combo consisting of dobro, stand-up bass, guitars, mandolin and banjo and multi-part harmonies. Really fun and a terrific start to the day.

(Sorry that my stage photos are so bad - they seemed better when I was taking them.)






The Psyatics came up next and were a pretty substantial contrast, with our loud electric guitars and punk rock energy, but we still got a reasonably good response and a number of people complimented us after the fact. We had a blast and appreciated the real stage and good sound. There were a number of people with high quality cameras taking photos, so I hope we can see some of those at some point.

Flux followed and were a talented kinda white-boy-funk/rock outfit with a multi-instrumentalist playing a variety of horns and some keyboards. Their grooves got a few more people up and dancing in the fall sunshine.








We all had other commitments later that night so we did not stick around for the rest of the entertainments (which ran until Sunday evening, including my country faves, the Reeves Brothers). But this was a super fun trip out to the desert for a different kinda afternoon! Thank you again to all involved!

Thursday, November 07, 2019

recommended gigs

Friday Nov 8 - the Sheiks of Neptune, the Implosions, Undercover Monsters and the Pluralses at the Double Down
Friday Nov 8 - Thee Swank Bastards at Tiki di Amore

Saturday Nov 9 - the Psyatics at Tecopa Hot Springs
Saturday Nov 9 - Peace Corp (featuring VJ Atomic Haanson) with Fuckface, Cardiac Kidz and Jerk at the Double Down
Saturday Nov 9 - the Dead Dolls, 1/2 Ast, idfi, Lean 13 at the Dive Bar
Saturday Nov 9 - the Unwieldies at the Dillinger

Tuesday Nov 12 - the Double Whammys at the Golden Tiki

Wednesday Nov 13 - Johnny Zig and the Force at the Double Down

Thursday Nov 14 - TV Party Tonight at the Double Down showing the movie Airplane with appropriate live music by Water Landing

Friday Nov 15 - the Psyatics at the Double Down

Saturday Nov 16 - The Swamp Gospel at the Double Down

Friday Nov 22 - the Heiz with The Swamp Gospel and Fuckface at Evel Pie

Saturday Nov 23 - The Heiz at the Mint
Saturday Nov 23 - Shanda and the Howlers at the Golden Tiki
Saturday Nov 23 - Not a Robot, Negative Nancys, Gob Patrol, Blvd Bullies at the Double Down

Sunday Nov 24 - the Heiz at the Sand Dollar

Tuesday Nov 26 - The Psyatics and the Heiz at the Huntridge

Wednesday Nov 27 - the Heiz at the Rusty Spur
Wednesday Nov 27 - the Delta Bombers with Eddie Spaghetti, JD Pinkus, and Farangs at Backstage Bar and Billiards

Friday Nov 29 - The Heiz at the Double Down
Friday Nov 29 - Thee Swank Bastards at Tiki di Amore

Saturday Nov 30 - The Heiz at the Double Down

Sunday Dec 2 - the Dickies with Jerk! at Evel Pie

Saturday Dec 7 - Agent Orange with The Psyatics , the Sheiks of Neptune and the Jagoffs at the Dive Bar

Saturday Dec 14 - The Swamp Gospel with the All Togethers at the Huntridge

Tuesday Dec 17 - the Double Whammys at the Golden Tiki

Saturday Dec 28 - Thee Hypnotiques at Tiki di Amore

Thursday Jan 2 - Tommy and the Commies, the Cavemen, Thee Saturday Knights and the Van der Rohe at the Bunkhouse

Friday Jan 3 - the New Waves at the Golden Tiki

Saturday Jan 18 - the Swamp Gospel and the Psyatics and the Holy Smokes at the Double Down

What have I forgotten? Lemme know

I Shot Andy Warhol by Mary Harron and Daniel Minahan

I think I came across this book at a thrift store and picked it up on a whim. Of course, Valerie Solanas is famous for shooting Andy Warhol - she was not used to guns and missed twice but got close enough on the third try to inflict a surprising amount of damage - but also for her extremist feminist manifesto SCUM - Society for Cutting Up Men. This is the screenplay to the movie of the same title, but it also includes a long forward by the authors explaining the painstaking research that went into the movie and how this humanized Solanas in their eyes. Although she seemed to be having some sort of breakdown when she committed her crime, she is described as funny, intelligent, personable but still a bit damaged.

Growing up in a broken, abusive home, Valerie eventually educated herself and left home at an early age, which meant that she had to fend for herself in NYC, and turning tricks would become a way of earning rent money. Walking on the wild side, as it were, she came across many of the members of the underground scene at the time, including Candy Darling, who introduced Valerie to Warhol. She was really interested in writing and completed a play which she titled "Up Your Ass" - this was the time when people like Jackie Curtis were producing successful yet highly provocative Off-Off-Broadway plays - which she wanted Warhol to produce. The Factory wasn't impressed by the play and lost her manuscript, which is what - among other items in her life - led to Valerie's paranoid fantasy of Andy stealing her work, which led to the shooting. (Amazingly enough, due to their interest, this manuscript was found at the bottom of a truck that was packed up when the Factory moved and probably hadn't been opened since!)

I really appreciated the extra info on Solanas here and the screenplay itself is very readable - it makes me want to see the movie again since it has been forever since I have watched it. This edition also contains Valerie's complete SCUM manifesto. Fascinating stuff!

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Redd Kross, the Melvins, Toshi at the Bunkhouse, Tuesday Nov 6, 2019


I've been watching and playing shows with Redd Kross for a good 40 years or so - think I saw them when they were still Red Cross, even! Every incarnation and variation has always been a blast and I was super bummed to have missed them the last time they were in Vegas so I was happy to hear about this return trip of theirs. The Bunkhouse is a fine place to see mid-level touring bands, with a real stage and sound system, although I wish the lighting was a bit better, especially for photos, but that's a minor quibble.

Opening the night was Japanese one-man ambient noise-maker, Toshi. I am not familiar with the man or his works, but this was a very minimalistic, keyboard-driven, noize set with appropriately minimalist projections on a simple screen next to him. An interesting and very different opening for this evening of disparate music!




Redd Kross has gone through a number of incarnations over the years - not surprising with a career that spans 4 decades! - but are still fronted by McDonald brothers Jeff (vocals/guitar) and Steve (vocals/bass - who started out playing live at 12 years old!) and now joined (appropriately - his flashy/melodic playing is a great fit) by lead guitar master Jason Shapiro (of the fantastic Celebrity Skin, among others) and currently have the Melvins' powerhouse Dale Crover on drums and backing vocals. A great mix of talent and personalities combining to electrify Redd Kross' material.

Although they began as a SoCal punk combo, RK quickly morphed into more of a 70's rockin' power pop group with terrific generic harmonies and well-written, melodic tunes with often hilarious lyrics. This set ran the gamut from their earliest - including "Linda Blair" and "Annette's Got the Hits" - to their latest (they have a brand new album out - more on that when I have some time) with new arrangements here'n'there and plenty of excellent playing (Jeff has really come into his own on guitar, Steve has always been a stellar player and Jason and Dale are about as good as they come) and superb 4 part harmony vocals. Pop classics like "Switchblade Sisters", "Peach Kellie Pop", "Annie's Gone" and "Jimmy's Fantasy" were highlights, as were new ones like "Party Underground" (about the years spent in dive bars around the world), "Downtown" and a 70's power-pop arrangement of the Beatles "It Won't Be Long" (all 70's power pop bands seemed to need to do an updated Beatles cover). At times Jeff put down his guitar and simply sang - and danced and emoted and donned a sparkly shawl over his head - which allowed Jason to stand out even more - which I enjoyed as I always loved his playing. The medley of Linda and Annette closed the set to a raucous response, but the night was being kept to a tight schedule so unfortunately, no encore.




 

 

 




   



Truthfully, I've never been a fan of the Melvins' style of sludge-grunge-metal, but we stuck around to see what they sounded like as Steve is playing bass and, of course, we had just seen Clover smoke through RK's set, and they did a great job of drivin' this set, as well. But, the music just wasn't our cup o'grunge and, being a work night, we split a few songs into their set. They were really good at what they were doing and they had a packed house cheerin' for them, so we were definitely in the minority this evening.




Thanks again to the Bunkhouse for a diverse night of rock'n'roll, noize and grunginess! This was absolutely one of the biggest shows we have seen here - especially on a week night!

Monday, November 04, 2019

Nurse Nikki's Neon Nightcrawl Saturday Nov 2, 2019

Saturday, November 2nd - The Pyro Surfers at Tiki Di Amore





Finally after getting over my shingles, I’ve ventured out Saturday night to see the Pyro Surfers at Tiki Amore. Tiki Amore is a nice little back patio area of the Italian staple, Casa Di Amore. The lounge area features tiki inspired drinks, plenty of seating, heat lamps for winter and misters for summer.

Tonight, it was a very mild evening just perfect for heading down to watch some great surf/rockabilly. The Pyro surfers are made up of Tish L’Heureux (vocals), Steve Hansel (drums), Jack Heskett (bass) and Doug Cook (guitar). I have been going to see the Pyros for a couple years now, and they never disappoint. I also know Doug from King vs Cash. The Pyros have a extended set of not only traditional surf songs, but tonight did songs by Elvis, Carl Perkins, Eddie Cochran, Wanda Jackson, Brenda Lee, The Ventures, Dick Dale and his Deltones, The Chantays, Imelda May and The Surfaris just to name a few.

Tish’s vocals add an extra dimension to what would be a traditional surf band. The guys play their instruments with great proficiency, and really make you feel like you’re sipping mai tais on the beach in Hawaii. There was a great crowd of people and everyone was enjoying the music and atmosphere. The Pyros play around town at many festivals and the trunk or treat every year at Halloween. They are fun and interact with the crowd, even taking photos of their fans and recognizing them on social media. Their positive vibe and great music goes down nicely at the Tiki and with the drink offerings. You can catch their schedule at Pyrosurfers.com or on their Facebook and Instagram pages. All in all, a great night of fun music and relaxing atmosphere!

Saturday, November 02, 2019

The Psyatics, Fuckface, Anubis at the Double Down, Friday Nov 1, 2019


As I've said before, the Psyatics try to get to the Double Down every month or so (sometimes more!) and this time we ended up with some of Vegas' more crazed punk/hardcore/whatever groups and somehow it all worked together.

Not much that I can say about the Psyatics' set since I am now part of the show, but we had a fine time running through old'n'new songs to an appreciative audience. Thanks to the other bands for hanging out and supporting! We'll be back at the DD on the 15th!





Opening the night was Anubis, whose name, to me anyway, elicits images of stoner sludge metal, and there are some touches of this in their sound - which I appreciated, as it makes them stand out amongst the many punk groups in town - and this is mixed with more "standard" punk rock and even some scream metal. Everyone is solid musicians, especially the slammin' drummer, although this evening the mix was a little off-balance, with the bass being a bit louder than the guitar - at least from my vantage point. But, definitely an interesting combo and I will definitely check 'em out again soon! Bonus points for the 7 foot talk singing werewolf wearing an Egyptian neme!






Fuckface - that's a Vegas band name, for sure! - has already made a name for themselves in the few short months that they have been around. Frontman Butters is a fixture at the Double Down and the band is a tight-knit hardcore combo with a cooly crunchy guitar sound (although he seemed to be having some issues with his equipment and changed guitars a couple of times) and singalong backing vocals. Butters is a highly animated singer who isn't afraid to use some props occasionally while constantly interacting with the crowd. I'm not sure how much of the set is originals, but there were a few recognizable covers interspersed in the set. The crowd seemed to love them and gave them a great reception. You'll be seeing plenty from them, I'm sure!



I was pretty damned beat by the time Societies Infection started (it had been a long work week), but they seemed to be another energetic punk/hardcore group that I am sure I will be checking out before long!

Thanks to the DD for another fun night and thanks to everyone who came out!